‘I wouldn’t trade you for anything, okay?’
Watch Mario and Trixie
A dog named Trixie is one lucky girl.
Note: The video and inset photo (below) show Mario and his neighbor's dog, Trixie. The above photo is of Best Friends rescuer, Bill Rethoret, and one of many dogs rescued by Best Friends.
Left behind in a yard in Texas City, her neighbor, Mario, retrieved her just as Hurricane Ike raced toward the area.
A week later, Mario walked to the Galveston County Shelter looking for dog food because he had run out and said he had nowhere else to go. Rich Crook, rapid response manager for Best Friends, gave him a large bag of food and a lift back to Mario’s house.
"Here she is," Mario said as Trixie, a chocolate Lab mix, ran to him inside the fenced yard. "Come here, baby girl, look. I got you some food."
The Thursday before the storm, Trixie was left in the backyard of her person’s home with a bowl of food. Mario was worried about her because she would regularly get out of her yard and run the neighborhood. He didn’t want her to get loose in the midst of a hurricane.
As the Category 3 storm was about to make landfall on the Gulf Coast of Texas and the wind increased, Trixie barked, whined and carried on – so much so that Mario, through the rain, in the evacuated neighborhood and in the dark, walked across the street, retrieved her, and walked her back to his house.
"She’s been with me ever since," he says. "I couldn’t see the dog over there all by herself."
He plans to care for her as long as necessary. "She’s my dog for now, until [my neighbor] gets back."
As he petted her head and she licked his face, Mario said to Trixie, "Tell you what, even though you’re not mine, I wouldn’t trade you for anything, okay?" He says he can’t help residents with cleanup because of an injury, "but I can take care of an animal."
Also being taken care of by neighbors are three German shepherds.
It was the end of a long day when Rich and a Best Friends rapid response team discovered them at a house on the Bolivar Peninsula on the eastern part of Galveston Bay. The team heard "faint barking in the distance," says Jason Watt, so they followed the sound to a house where the dogs were staying.
The team fed the dogs, gave them water, then put them in an animal control truck to take them back to the shelter. As they were leaving, neighbors drove up in a truck. They were there to check on the dogs and said they were taking caring of them until their people returned, "so we returned them," Jason says.
A Rottweiler was also rescued from a house by the team, and he was taken to the shelter to be cared for there.
The team spent the weekend doing what Rich calls "hard-core, ground-and-pound search and rescue, going door to door," looking for pets left behind.
Military personnel were expected to arrive on the peninsula early this week to do sweeps of the entire area, searching for animals. Best Friends teams, Rich says, will assist by transporting any rescued animals to the shelter.
Written by Cathy Scott
Photo of Bill Rethoret rescuing a dog by Mark Harmon
Inset photo of Mario and Trixie by Jason Watt
The shelter is in need of supplies such as pet food, flea treatment, de-wormer, disposable kitty litter pans and collapsible wire cages. Its address is Galveston County Animal Shelter, 3412 Loop 197 North, Texas City, TX 77590.